Quick Tips to Utilize Social Selling and Leverage Your AEs Today

November 27, 2012 at 7:00 AM

60% of the buyer’s journey now happens before your Account Executive interacts with a prospect. This is why there is such a push for compelling content marketing strategies these days.  Blogs, ebooks, webinars, social media. This is all of the utmost importance in generating fresh leads.  As the Sales Leader, you have high expectations for Marketing to deliver.  Are you prepared to defend yourself if Marketing places the same accountability on you?  Don’t get stuck with a team incapable of leveraging the tools of Sales 2.0.social-selling

Despite this marketing focus, best in class organizations only have 40% of their “pipe” filled by marketing.

Who owns the other 60%?  Your Account Executives.

Are Your AEs Being Leveraged with Social Selling?

What steps are you taking to leverage your AEs today? Are you giving them the tools and instruction they need to be successful? Will they meet that 60% requirement?

See how you’re doing – take the "lite” AE Leveraging Assessment.

Everyone has the opportunity to achieve online visibility in today’s digital world. When you gain online visibility, you can influence those observing you. Each member of your Sales Team can develop a personal brand.  Let your AE’s then rally followers around that brand.

Your AEs then have the potential to turn members of that personal online network into prospects. One way to leverage your AEs in this way is via Social Media.

Quick Social Selling facts:

  • 82% of the world’s online population is reached via social media according to ComScore.
  • 75% of B2B buyers anticipate that social media will likely influence a future purchase.
  • 65% of B2B organizations are already utilizing social media and “social selling”

Is this something that you’ve undertaken at your organization? If not, you’re officially behind the times. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Twitter – Is your company blog linked to each AE’s Twitter page? Do your AEs post about your offerings? Do they post to solidify themselves (and your organization) as a thought leader in the industry? All of these actions contribute to your AEs developing their own following. From that following they can then find prospects.

    With Twitter, instead of reaching a few hundred prospects, you can reach a few thousand. Establish your organization as the authority from the get-go. In addition, your AEs can monitor potential prospects. This can provide further insight into what motivates prospects to act.

  2. LinkedIn – Is your company blog linked to each AEs LinkedIn profile? Do you post your presentations to build credibility? Do you post your webinars to increase interest in the organization? LinkedIn is the premier B2B social media interaction tool. Those on LinkedIn are strictly looking to do business, unlike Facebook and Twitter.

    LinkedIn creates more leads than Facebook, Twitter, or Blogging for B2B organizations. If your AEs (and your organization) are not utilizing it, you’re missing a great opportunity. Just ask Eloqua.
    how-to-use-social-selling
  3. Facebook – Facebook is crucial to building a brand. While your conversions may not be as high through Facebook, it still has the largest reach. AEs can successfully spread your brand in hopes of generating new prospects down the road.

Your prospects are undoubtedly already spending time in these channels. Remember that 60% of the buyer’s journey that happens before contact? These arenas are where your prospects are spending that time. Your AEs need to have a strong presence and engage these prospects from the start.

How to Move Your AEs Into the Future

SBI is leading the charge into the age of “Social Selling.”  We can help to develop your AEs into a team adept in creating new prospects. With the right tactics your AEs can fill the 60% of your pipe that marketing cannot.

This program includes:

  • Organizational and Personal Assessments
  • Training
  • On-going Performance Monitoring
  • Scorecards & Dashboards

SBI can help you learn to leverage your AEs to the extent that your pipe will always be full. You’ll no longer fill the pipe with just two channels – 1) marketing and 2) sales team. You’ll now have multiple unique channels. Approximately one for each AE that is leveraging himself to potential prospects.

Social Selling allows AEs to reach prospects on a more personal level via these social media channels. As a result, prospects will naturally be more receptive. They will view your organization as a helpful resource, as opposed to a sales plug. 

Questions about how to properly leverage your AEs and implement Social Selling at your organization, contact SBI. Or, you can feel free to leave a comment below.

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Topics: sales strategy, Talent Management, VP of Sales Resources, Sales Force Effectiveness

Posted by Tony Albachiara

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